FRIEND OR FOE: Hole No. 10 at OG&CC can be both fun and challenging

Sep 25 2013 - 1:24am

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What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet. 

-- From William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

SOUTH OGDEN -- Whether it's hole No. 1 or it's hole No. 10, my favorite hole at the Ogden Golf and Country Club always smells pretty sweet.

It's the short par 5 -- roughly 480 yards -- with water on the left and a whole lot of room on the right.

It used to be No. 1, then it became No. 10 and soon it'll be No. 1 again ... or something like that.

"Most of our members like starting on that hole," OGCC head pro Craig Sarlo said. "It's a littler easier hole. It's a little easier (for people who are) walking nine. But we've changed about four or five times over the years, so it's going to be No. 1 for now."

It's true. Over the years, the OGCC course has gone through a few different looks, which isn't all that out of the ordinary for a 99-year-old club. Holes have been changed, ponds have been added, trees have grown, etc. Regardless, its hilly, tree-lined fairways and sloping greens have a classic feel.

But just so we're all clear: the folks at the OGCC are flipping the front and back nine. No. 1 will become No. 10 and No. 10 will become No. 1.

Clear as mud? My best advice is to visit the OGCC and they'll explain it. Better yet, just go play all 18 and get an up-close look.

But let's not get hung up on its name -- No. 1 or No. 10. Either way, it's a rosy golf hole and it has everything a golfer needs: playability, challenges and beauty all around.

The scorecard lists it as a par 5, 482 yards from the black tees, 472 from the blues, 456 from the whites and 419 from the reds. Those aren't particularly long numbers, not for a par 5 at least. Perhaps that's why it's one of my favorites.

On a good day, when the conditions are just right -- by that I mean a good tailwind -- I might be able to find the green with my second shot. But admittedly, I'm not as young, flexible, strong or as accurate as I used to be, so for me it's still most likely a three-shot hole.

Most above-average players should find the hole relatively easy, especially those who can bomb it off the tee. If that's the case, the green is reachable with a good tee shot and a favorable spot on the fairway.

For mere mortals and high-handicappers it still requires a good tee shot and a fairway wood or perhaps a rescue club from there. If all goes well, your shot to the green should be a wedge.

If not, there's sand and water lurking, so be careful.

That water hasn't always been there. A few years back, when the water irrigation system was reconfigured, a pond was added to the left of the green.

"We thought that would be a great place for a pond because the hole's a little bit short and that just adds a whole new element to it," Sarlo said.

When I visited the OGCC last week I found the entire track in pristine condition. The fairways, the tees, the greens ... they all looked great. Considering the place is set to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2014, I'd say the OGCC isn't acting its age.

The folks at the OGCC have some big plans in store for its centennial celebration. It'll all be on display next year when the Utah State Amateur and the Utah Women's State Amateur come to Ogden's venerable old course.

It'll be interesting to see how No. 1 plays next year when the state's best golfers come calling. As a starting hole, it'll be fun to watch.

The possibility of beginning a round with a 3 or a 4 on the scorecard will be enticing and players will be highly aggressive.

Like every hole on the track, No. 10 -- oops, I mean No. 1 -- has a classic feel to it, which is to say it's held up over the years, even though golf equipment has shortened most courses.

At just over 6,800 yards from the tips, the OGCC isn't a long course, especially now that golf balls fly much farther and club heads are bigger and livelier. Add to that the fact golfers are bigger, stronger and in better physical condition and 482-yard par 5s aren't very threatening.

But they're oh so fun to play.

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